A radical overhaul of an influential ranking of universities has vaulted U.S. institutions into more than half of the top 50 places and the University of Toronto to the top of the Canadian pile.

The Times Higher Education (THE) rankings, released Thursday, rate nine Canadian universities in the top 200, the fifth-best showing of any country.

Along with the U of T at No. 17, the rankings put the University of British Columbia at 30, McGill University at 35, McMaster University at 93, the University of Alberta at 127, University of Victoria at 130, University of Montreal at 138, Dalhousie at 193 and Simon Fraser University at 199.

Under the old system, McGill last year ranked as the leading Canadian university on the list and the universities of Waterloo, Calgary, Western Ontario and Queen’s were in the top 200.

“Under our previous rankings methodology, used between 2004 and 2009, the subject tables were based on just a single indicator — an opinion poll of academics, examining nothing but reputation,” said THE editor Phil Baty.

The new methodology used 13 indicators that covered areas such as teaching and research (30 per cent each of the overall score), citations (32.5 per cent), industry income (2.5 per cent) and international mix (five per cent).